val·​e·​dic·​to·​ri·​an | \ ˌva-lə-ˌdik-ˈtȯr-ē-ən How to pronounce valedictorian (audio) \

Definition of valedictorian

: the student usually having the highest rank in a graduating class who delivers the valedictory address at the commencement exercises

Examples of valedictorian in a Sentence

She was the valedictorian of her class in 1985.
Recent Examples on the Web The 30-year-old Medina native was the valedictorian of his class at Medina High School in 2009 before going on to earn a degree in actuarial math four years later from Ohio State University. cleveland, 6 Aug. 2021 As valedictorian of his high school class in 1982, Mr. Bezos talked about the importance of creating a life in huge free-floating space colonies for millions of people. New York Times, 21 July 2021 First, Erick became the valedictorian of Bainbridge High School — the first Hispanic student to do so — in 2010, Today reported. Joelle Goldstein,, 14 July 2021 At 18 years old, Onovu will graduate at the top of her class from Albany High School, becoming the school's first Black valedictorian in its 152-year history. Joelle Goldstein,, 16 June 2021 Senior and valedictorian at Balboa High School Kayvan Zahiri will be graduating with his classmates Tuesday afternoon. Emma Talley, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 June 2021 In the Bronx, a valedictorian at one high school stepped onto the stage to deliver her speech only months after her grandmother died of Covid-19. New York Times, 2 July 2021 The Tualatin High valedictorian volunteered for three years tutoring fellow students. oregonlive, 21 June 2021 Southwest High School valedictorian Azul Marmolejo, an aspiring cardiologist, recently won a full scholarship to Harvard University with the help of First Gen Scholars. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'valedictorian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of valedictorian

1759, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for valedictorian

valedictor(y) + -ian

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The first known use of valedictorian was in 1759

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Last Updated

13 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Valedictorian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of valedictorian

: the student who has the highest grades in a graduating class and who gives a speech at graduation ceremonies


val·​e·​dic·​to·​ri·​an | \ ˌva-lə-ˌdik-ˈtȯr-ē-ən How to pronounce valedictorian (audio) \

Kids Definition of valedictorian

: a student usually of the highest standing in a class who gives the farewell speech at the graduation ceremonies

More from Merriam-Webster on valedictorian

Nglish: Translation of valedictorian for Spanish Speakers


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